George Zimmerman’s “self defense” story of Trayvon Martin shooting falls apart

ABC News obtained the police surveillence video recorded right after George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.  Zimmerman through his attorney and his “black friend” Joe Oliver claims that he and Trayvon got into a fight on the night that Trayvon was killed.

The police leaked Zimmerman’s account of the shooting to the Orlando Sentinel which claimed that Trayvon approached George Zimmerman when he was walking back to his car and that Trayvon punched Zimmerman in the face, breaking his nose.  Zimmerman also claims that Trayvon while on top of him during a scuffle bashed his head into the ground several times causing lacerations on the back of his head.

Well, that version of events appears to be complete bullshit.

In the new video released by ABC, Zimmerman is walking into the police station all casual like.  He appears uninjured and there is no blood in sight which usually accompanies a broken nose.  He also has a shaven head and as the camera catches the back of his head there appear to be no lacerations.

Also, interesting is the CNN Headline News interview with the funeral director who prepared Trayvon’s body for the service.  Normally when people fight their hands get cut and bruised.  The funeral director says Trayvon did not have any cuts or bruising on his hands or on the rest of his body for that matter, just a gunshot wound to the chest.

No matter how many “black friends” come out to claim Zimmerman is the best guy ever with no racial bias and no matter how many smears are spread about Trayvon to mold him into a stereotypical black male thug it’s clear that there was a botched investigation done by the Sanford police department in this case.  None of this other nonsense being discussed in the press  about marijuana Trayvon may have smoked one time at band camp, will change the fact that the evidence from the night Trayvon was shot does not appear to back up Zimmerman’s claim of self defense.

There are unanswered questions that need to be answered through a proper investigation. And that is all that matters here.

Arrest George Zimmerman.

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17 Comments

  1. Posted March 29, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    also, if he was beat up that badly, there would be EMT and other medical records. Was an autopsy done on Trayvon before his body was released to the funeral home? I’m also just struck by the casual way he’s walking around; it’s almost like he’s an afterthought in the officers’ minds and not a person in police custody because they killed someone!

  2. Posted March 29, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    In the new video released by ABC, Zimmerman is walking into the police station all casual like. He appears uninjured and there is no blood in sight which usually accompanies a broken nose. He also has a shaven head and as the camera catches the back of his head there appear to be no lacerations.

    Please don’t do this. While in this particular case you are almost undoubtedly correct, it isn’t doing anyone any favors to claim that if there aren’t readily apparent physical injuries (that can be seen at a distance via sub-par video equipment) then that means no violence occurred.

    The information from the funeral director is much more substantial and meaningful evidence that this wasn’t actually self defense.

    Whether someone is “walking casually” or whether their injuries are sufficiently visible should not be relevant in determining whether violence occurred. The fact that Zimmerman is a lying, trigger-happy monster doesn’t change that.

    • Posted March 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      It’s not as much about whether any violence occurred, and more about Zimmerman’s specific claims that he had a broken nose and that he’d been bleeding from the head due to an altercation with Martin. While you’re right that not all violence leaves external and obvious physical signs, the broken nose and a cut on the head Zimmerman claimed to have suffered would have external and obvious physical signs.

      What you blockquoted is claiming no more than that—that Zimmerman’s claims about his own physical injuries, which would have left physical marks, didn’t hold up in light of this new evidence. The passage in question didn’t claim that Zimmerman wasn’t the victim of any violence at all (though there has yet to be any evidence that he was), or that all violence leaves external signs. I completely understand your point, but I’m not really seeing what you’re reading in the quoted paragraph.

    • Posted March 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      i meant that, if it wasnt for the handcuffs and uniforms, the video looks like a group of dudes trying to figure out which bar to go to. in one instance, both officers turn their back on him, assuming he will follow. am i used to seeing cops treat arrestees like assholes?maybe. innocent protestors are peppersprayed and assaulted but someone who actually shot and killed an innocent boy is treated with kid gloves. my comment was more of critique on the officers’ behaviour in the situation and not zimmerman.

      • Posted March 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        I actually hadn’t read your comment when I posted; I was posting in response to Zerlina.

        I don’t see much to complain about regarding the officers’ conduct in this case. In reviewing the video there is one instance (at about 0:10) where one officer walks away from Zimmerman and the other almost turns to follow before turning back to Zimmerman, which is borderline negligent but seems to have been rapidly resolved.

        I absolutely agree that this is in stark contrast to the brutality displayed toward protesters; however, my inclination in comparing the two instances isn’t to look at Zimmerman’s treatment and wish the police had been a little rougher, but rather to look at the treatment of protesters and wish the police had been a little gentler.

  3. Posted March 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I’d like someone to address the actual science of the lack of evidence. For one thing, if Zimmerman shot Martin while he was “on top of him” why is there no blood on him from the spatter? Secondly, how did Martin wind up face down on the ground? Whether the gunshot “threw” the body away from Zimmerman or whether Zimmerman pushed the body off his own after Martin collapsed on him, physics makes it almost impossible for Martin to have wound up face down. (I can explain further if requested, but will leave it at that for now) There is really NOTHING in these “official” stories that makes any sense at all!

  4. Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I was suspicious when I heard he’d claimed injuries, but refused EMT’s.

    I also wish in general, there was more understanding of the differences between instigation, self-defense, and retaliation. Zimmerman continued to follow and approach Trayvon even after the 911 operator specifically told him not to, used a gun on a kid who by from what I heard was subdued (face down, the older man on top, according to witness accounts). None of this sounds remotely like self-defense.

    And he claimed a broken nose? Even an accidental hit to the nose can turn the world into a 60′s op-art pattern for a time. Isn’t a break usually accompanied with bleeding, swelling, discoloration in the cheeks and eye sockets as well?

    • Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      I hope this isn’t construed as derailing, but I think it’s an important point – while it is certainly possible (indeed very likely) for bleeding, swelling and discoloration to accompany a broken nose, it is in no way a certainty.

      I practice contact martial arts, and I’ve seen breaks, concussions and knock outs that run the gamut from the recipient looking like they were hit by a truck all the way on down to there being no discernible visible evidence of injury. I’ve (accidentally) broken a sparring partner’s nose, and the only visible evidence was a very slight bump (that absolutely would not have been visible from more than five feet away).

      None of that is to say that Zimmerman acted in self defense; he almost assuredly did not. However, I still think that it is a terrible idea to assume that serious injury will always result in visible marks, and that anyone who claims they were assaulted needs to look like they were run through a blender before we’ll believe them.

      • Posted April 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for pointing this out. I am actually really appalled by the OP’s callous comments. So now all DV victims need to show visible wounds in order to claim they were abused? Rape victims need torn hymens to prove they were raped?

        This is a dangerous road and while I am most certainly not taking Zimmerman’s side, you’re setting us back with that mentality. Do you know how hard we worked in our county to get the police to take women (and men) with no visible wounds seriously?

        I am pretty disgusted right now.

        • Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

          @Nina – you want to talk appalled, callous and disgusting? Putting this bigoted murderer in the same paragraph with DV or rape survivors. YOU’RE the one setting us back with YOUR mentality. In what universe does the onus of proof have to be on the deceased victim or his family to prove, as more and more evidence is showing, that Zimmerman lied about all of this? I’m completely disgusted with your attitude, especially as a survivor of violence myself.

          • Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            @Jenny
            Sorry, but the law clearly states innocent until proven guilty, no matter how heinous the crime. I am not taking this man’s side, nor am I saying he is a victim, but the fact of the matter is, if we start going down this road, IT WILL BE USED AGAINST WOMEN.

            I am also not saying that Trayvon or his family have to prove anything. The only point I am arguing is this: We can’t argue that he WASN’T INJURED BECAUSE HE DID NOT SHOW VISIBLE SIGNS OF INJURY.

            That is the only point I was arguing. In our justice system, using the logic that no signs of injury=no injury at all is dangerous.

            In this instance do I think it matters if he was injured? No. I don’t. I don’t think it makes him any less guilty. But it does not help legal prosecutions in general if this argument is used.

            You took what I said as if I was making Zimmerman out to be the victim. I was merely stating that the way the OP wrote the statement that he was disingenuous. It’s like saying: Well that woman clearly wasn’t abused because she has no marks on her body.

            Doesn’t go over well for me and others working for victims of violence.

      • Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

        I used to practice ‘em too, before falling on some hard times, am looking to get back into it. I’m taken a hit to the nose (accidental) during sparring, never saw a break there. Anyone I ever saw with a break in other circumstances (for whatever the reason may be) had some show of something having had happened.

        • Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely agreed that most of the time, injury will be strongly correlated with visible damage. I just think it’s important for people to understand that it is entirely possible for violent assault to occur without readily apparent injury. To be honest, I don’t think it’s important in this case (I think it’s pretty obvious that Zimmerman is totally lying about the self defense claim) but rather as a generally important point within the greater context of victim advocacy. I think that there are a lot of problems with the assumption of necessary visible injury, and that the majority of those problems are likely to come back and hurt victims of domestic violence and other assault.

          Hope you get back into MA! I don’t know what I’d do without it!

          • Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            I know that there are non-visible injuries, but how does it happen with a nose break (not just a hit?) I thought it was the capillaries in the nose and cheeks that caused the discoloration or pooling under the eyes?

            I’ve been doing stances, kicks, and blocks/punches on my own! But it’s not the same. Financially for a while other things had to take precedent over classes, and the non-dojo friend I sometimes sparred with moved out of state. I’ve started looking for a goju-ryu school in the neighborhood, but might check out the nearby kung-fu school if I cant find one.

          • Posted April 4, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            I know that there are non-visible injuries, but how does it happen with a nose break (not just a hit?) I thought it was the capillaries in the nose and cheeks that caused the discoloration or pooling under the eyes?

            Beats heck out of me. I’m just making note of what I’ve directly observed – the one broken nose that I was responsible for was definitely broken, but you never would have known just by looking.

            I also know that frequently the bruising doesn’t occur until substantially later.

            Best of luck with your search for a dojo. I’ve never practiced Goju-Ryu, but I’ve done Yoshukai (another Shotokan-derived style) for the past five years. After working out with quite a few artists from multiple styles, I’ve really come to the conclusion that (generally speaking) the particular style is much less important than the atmosphere of the school and how you feel about the instructors and fellow students – so maybe that Kung-Fu school could be awesome for you!

  5. Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    @Nina – It was unclear where the response came (on a reply thread) to my comment if the OP in question was Zerlina or myself. I still feel though, as a survivor of one of the types of violence you mentioned and a survivor of the other type in psychological form, that drawing comparison between Zimmerman and those who have experienced rape or intimate partner violence isn’t accurate. I know that not all physical injuries leave visible marks. However, what I read Zimmerman was claiming–a broken nose and lacerations (by definition an open wound) around the head and neck, do not fall into that category.

    Zimmerman has had a previous history of violent charges, including assaulting an officer and DV charges against a former partner. He was known at his local precinct for placing nuisance 911 calls, not all but predominantly against black people (though also on two occasions against a stray dog, and a yellow bicycle). It seems likely to me (and many others) that his magistrate father may have used his connections and position to get his son out of hot water a few times, leaving him to believe he was above the law. Again, I don’t believe anyone with a non-visible injury should be disbelieved. But a man with a history of violence, abusiveness and questionable claims to 911, claiming injuries that by their nature should be visible but aren’t—THAT’S the individual I’ll say is a liar.

    • Posted April 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      @Jenny
      I don’t think I meant to reply to you, but comment in general, so my bad if it came back as a direct comment to you.

      I totally understand where you’re coming from. I have experienced said violence too, so I am not trying to undermine anyone’s experience. Nor am I saying Zimmerman and victims can be lumped in the same group. but I am saying that Zerlina arguing no visible injuries means he is clearly lying is severely problematic for me. Even for someone like Zimmerman. That’s the point I took issue with. And if that argument is applied to suspects, it could also be applied to victims, and that’s what makes me uncomfortable.

      I am not saying this logic is right, I am saying it coming from working with the court system and DV survivors. It’s a slippery slope. I also don’t think it’s right for a feminist website to purport that type of reasoning. But that’s just my opinion.

      I 100% agree Zimmerman is guilty – and there is a whole lot of bullshit protecting him, and hopefully that will be peeled away and the truth will be able to come out and justice will be served. Him not having injuries in this instance is problematic, I agree, but like another poster pointed out, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. (And just to be clear, I don’t think it did happen, I am just trying to make a point).

      n

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